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Developing your child's full potential<span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​Growth and development</h2> <p>Every day is an opportunity for you to create a rich learning environment for your child. The toolkit below will help you stimulate your child creatively and intellectually.</p></span> <p> <strong>Promote language and literacy </strong> <br>Read stories to your child everyday. Not only will this promote literacy, it will encourage them to enjoy books and stories. Visit your local library to borrow books. Tell your children about the world around them – the names of things, how things work. Ask them lots of ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘what’ ‘who’ questions.</p><p> <a href="">See the full list of City libraries open to the public</a>. </p><p> <strong>​Feed their imagination</strong><br>Children love fantasy and role-play – it stimulates their imagination and encourages them to think about the wider world. Take them to plays, musicals and child-friendly events.</p><p> <strong>Let them play</strong><br>Children learn through exploring. While unstructured play is important, educational toys such as blocks, lego, puzzles, and balls are a great way to encourage problem solving in a fun, creative way.</p><p> <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">Our <a href="">Khayelitsha toy library</a> is one of a few libraries that offer a wide variety of toys for all ages. Families can loan the toys, which help develop children’s skills while they play.</span></p><p> <strong>Develop their motor skills</strong><br>Children need to develop both their gross and fine motor skills to take part in activities. </p><p>Fine motor skills are needed for small movements such as picking up small objects, holding a spoon and writing. Gross motor skills are bigger movements such as rolling, sitting, running and jumping, which use the larger muscles in the arms, legs and torso.</p><p>Playing on slides, swings and jungle gyms are great for developing children’s gross motor skills. Arts and crafts such as cutting, colouring and writing helps develop their fine motor skills. There are a number of parks in Cape Town where they will have plenty of space to play. See the <a href="">parks listed under our Recreational facilities </a>for a play zone in your area. </p><p> <strong>Introduce them to music </strong> <br>Music and singing not only soothes and calms children, it helps integrate body and mind, and helps strengthen their memory. Listening to music is a joyful experience for children as they love to dance and move, which is good for their gross motor development.</p><p>Introduce your child to music with a music or singing programme, find out how by clicking on the link below: </p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading white-copy yellow bg-darker-grey"><div class="graphic">​ <i class="info citycard">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>City Connect</h4><p> <a href="">Get involved in a music or singing programme</a>.</p></div></div></span> <p> <strong>Encourage healthy eating habits</strong><br>When children learn healthy eating habits they are often carried through into adulthood. Give your children a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and steer clear of sugar and preservatives. Let them help prepare meals, and eat with them – this creates special family time, which is great for bonding and communication.<br><br> Download our <a href="" target="_blank">Healthy Snacks for Children Poster</a>.</p><p> <strong>Spend quality time with them</strong><br>Spend quality time with your child everyday – away from the distraction of computer and TV screens and work commitments. Ask about their day and make them feel heard and valued. This encourages communication and builds self-esteem. Share your own feelings with them.</p><p> <strong>Lead by example</strong><br>Children learn from our behaviour not our words. Treat others with respect and model healthy relationships so they learn how to develop healthy inter-personal relationships.</p><p> <strong>Get involved</strong><br>Get involved in community events or volunteer at local NGO’s. This teaches children empathy and teaches them to be engaged citizens. Learn how you can volunteer with a City initiative by following the link below:</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading white-copy yellow bg-darker-grey"><div class="graphic">​ <i class="info citycard">​​</i>​</div><div class="desc"><h4>City Connect</h4><p> <a href="">Volunteer with the City of Cape Town</a>. </p></div></div></span> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Child development chart​​​​​​​</h2> <p>Each child is unique and develops at their own pace – however there are some key milestones we can use to track their progress and make sure there are no serious developmental delays. </p> <p>The table below charts major growth developments up until the age of five. If you’re worried about your child not reaching these milestones, visit your nearest ​ <a href="">City healthcare clinic</a>. But remember – its normal for children to do well in some areas and not in others.</p> <span> <div class="mobile-scroll"><table> <caption> <strong>​Major Growth Developments in Children 0 - 5</strong></caption> <thead><tr><th>Age</th><th>Growth Development</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>0-3 months</td><td>Babies at this age start smiling and cooing (making soft sounds). They might lift their head and turn towards sound, or reach for their hands and feet. They cry to let you know they need something but are generally soothed when held. They might roll on to their tummies or backs.</td></tr><tr><td>4-6 months</td><td>Babies become more responsive, and start listening attentively. They laugh, gurgle and imitate sounds. They start putting things in their mouth, start grasping objects and might sit with support.</td></tr><tr><td>7-12 months</td><td>At this age babies start using words, sounds or gestures. They might know their own name and recognise familiar voices. They start exploring the world around them, banging and shaking things. They might start pulling themselves up, creep, crawl or start walking. They become shy or upset around strangers.</td></tr><tr><td rowspan="1">​1- 2 years</td><td rowspan="1">​Children become more active at this age and enjoy walking, climbing, running and jumping. They also start asserting their independence and may become frustrated when they can’t or are not allowed to do certain things. They love stories and enjoy playing with other children their age.</td></tr><tr><td rowspan="1">​2 – 3.5 years</td><td rowspan="1">​Children are like a sponge at this age, absorbing information about the world around them. Their language develops fast and they love being on the go and exploring. They may still experience frustration when they can’t do things.</td></tr><tr><td rowspan="1">​3.5 – 5 years</td><td rowspan="1">​Children are very curious at this age, asking lots of questions and often talking a lot. They can be noisy, testing their body’s abilities. They love playing with their friends and learn about sharing and taking turns.</td></tr></tbody></table></div>​​​</span><span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Early childhood development centres​​​​​​​</h2> <p>Children need a safe and happy environment in which to play, grow and learn. <a href="">Our ECD centres​</a> play an important role in offering this space to children, particularly in areas of the city where children lack access to good quality care.</p> <p>ECD centres provide children with good nutrition and focus on general development – giving them a better start to life and preparing them for school. <a href="">Learn more​</a> about what <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">a </span> <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">good ECD centre can do for your child</span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">.</span></p> <p> <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">Get your child involved, or volunteer in some of the youth programmes and after school activities offered at our facilities, find out how by following the link below:</span></p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading white-copy yellow bg-darker-grey"><div class="graphic">​ <i class="info citycard">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>City Connect</h4><p> <strong>Get involved: </strong> <a href="">Children and youth programmes</a> </p></div></div></span> </span></span>GP0|#60cd3f2e-2210-4fcb-8bc8-691c5dac54c6;L0|#060cd3f2e-2210-4fcb-8bc8-691c5dac54c6|Developing your child’s full potential;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#e191a0d6-26c0-4f61-a521-0a26adc8ad68;GPP|#063a6668-d6cb-4c45-adaf-f559697b85fd;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711Our growth and development table has helpful facts on how to unlock your child’s full potential.





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